The Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Paul Ohonbamu is both a politician and an activist that is committed to the enforcement of human rights in the country.
In this chat with Henry Balogun (Features Editor) and Imuesi Godfrey he reflects on Nigeria @ 50
Sir as a politician and an activist how do you see Nigeria in the past so years?
I see Nigeria as a country that is struggling to survive politically, economically and the totality of this is that we have not learned our lessons. Because of the target of political events in Nigeria and the long stay of the military in power, good governance has eluded us. But one would have expected that since 1999 till date, there would be appreciable improvement, but I make bold to say that apart from some areas of fundamental rights which are now being adhered to because of the objective condition, principally there have being no difference.
All the same, I think Nigeria has prospects high prospects for growth and success only if our leaders will want to do it right. If our leaders, those in political offices and the bureaucrats, if they want to do it right then Nigeria will move forward. But as it is now, Nigeria is growing old but not growing up. Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.
What is your vision for Nigeria?
I see a great nation, I see a super economy and a very vibrant and conscious civil populace. I see Nigeria as a country that will dominate its contemporaries in few years time, only if the leaders would get it right. I see Nigeria as a country that has potentials for greatness, that has potential for lofty achievements if only our leaders would get it right. We should avoid primitive accumulation of wealth, we should avoid arrogance of power.
We should avoid trivialization of peoples right, we should not privatize state and power. Power that should belong to the people should be left in the hands of the people. Rather than one man one vote, we have had cabal of crooks dominating and destroying the choice of the people like a colossus. These are issues we must consider so that in the near future, we will have cause to glorify God. The fault is not in our stars but ourselves.